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Children & education

Primary classroom

Our policy research in children and education covers all ages from early years’ education and the difference it makes to children’s outcomes to youth transitions and young people’s experiences of education and the work place.

The work we do is highly topical and relevant; we investigate what experiences influence children’s lives and what interventions are effective in supporting children’s well-being and academic outcomes.

Studies and methods

We deliver high quality insights for policy makers and practitioners working with children across the full range of research methods, including surveys with professionals, families and children, qualitative studies and secondary analysis of large scale data sets. Our strong evaluation offer encompasses RCTs, quasi-experimental impact evaluations, theory-based evaluations and process evaluations.


BIS, DfE, DWP, NHS Digital, DH and the Scottish Government.

Examples of our policy relevant research

Our research has valuable insights for current policy initiatives and debates across the following themes:

Children’s lives and the experiences that affect life chances

Our research investigates the issues that affect children and young people in the present and future such as poverty, mental health, bullying and access to services

How policy interventions help disadvantaged children

Our large-scale Evaluation of Children’s Centres in England (carried out with the University of Oxford and Frontier Economics) investigated how children’s centres can best impact on children's lives and maximise support to families. The evaluation explored how centres are run, what services they offer, how they are used, what they cost and what difference all of this makes to children’s and parents' outcomes.

The impact of early years’ education on children

The study SEED is helping the Government understand whether the extension of free early years’ education for disadvantaged two years olds is helping these children to be ready for school.

Closing the attainment gap in primary and secondary schools

Our evaluations for the Education Endowment Fund are testing the outcomes of a number of different interventions and are finding out what has helped or hindered their success. The projects we evaluate target children’s attainment across the curriculum from reading to science and mathematics.

Youth transitions

Our work on youth transitions explores whether the Government’s investment to improve support and options for young people has helped to engage them in education and employment

Next Steps is a major longitudinal study tracking the progress of young people born in 1989 and 1990. As the only study to do this, it is being listened to Government, charities and academics.

Higher education

The introduction of university fees has dramatically altered the experience of Higher Education for young adults. The Student Income and Expenditure Study helps policy makers and influencers understand what the cost of education really is to young people and how this is influencing their choices and experience of education.


Tuition for seven-year-olds highlights educational divide | BBC 

Out-of-school sports clubs may boost primary maths | TES 

Teaching assistants boost children's speaking abilities | Nursery World 

Contact us

For more information, contact our New Business team at 0207 549 9584 or fill in our contact form.